Glee loves to pat itself on the back for breaking boundaries, but rarely does it deserve the praise that it's constantly giving itself. Every now and then, however, the show will do something groundbreaking and last night's episode is one of those instances.
For months, Kurt and the audience have had to watch Blaine make flirty faces and execute adorable dance moves with no promise of a romantic payoff. It seems as though Kurt's patience has finally reached its limit (both with Blaine's coquetry and domination over all of the Warblers' solos) when he finally tells Blaine that the group's routine is old hat and there's no way that they'll win nationals with only Blaine on lead. Kurt's outburst follows a performance of Maroon 5's "Misery," in which the a cappella group pulls out all of their usual stops. Kurt's eye rolls throughout the number are pretty hilarious and reflective of our general attitude for the Warblers these days. Yes, they're good, but, like Kurt says, it's foolish to think of them as anything besides Blaine and his backup singers.
Though he initially accuses Kurt of jealousy and passes off the blame for his spotlight hogging to the Warblers' senior members, Blaine eventually concedes that Kurt right. Sadly, the celebration of Kurt's victory is disrupted by the sudden death of Pavarotti, the canary he was given on his first day as a Warbler. To mourn the loss of his fowl friend, Kurt sings "Blackbird," while the Warblers provide backup. Chris Colfer's rendition the Beatles classic was sweet, simple, and, admittedly, made me a bit weepy (a friend I was texting during the show didn't believe me because, according to her, I am a "heartless monster"). I wasn't the only one touched by the performance. Blaine is completely moved and, for the first time, sees Kurt in a romantic light. Because I've already confessed to crying, I might as well add that the way Blaine was staring at Kurt during the song made me blush a bit. Just to put it out there (because that's how The Secret works), I would happily pay Darren Criss to sit on the other end of my couch and stare at me adoringly (assuming, of course, that he'll accept his payment in the form of a half crushed bag of pita chips because it's the only thing I own).
Having finally realized his deep luuurve for Kurt, Blaine convinces the Warblers to add a duet for the two of them to perform at Regionals. They consent and Blaine ends up choosing "Candles" by Hey Monday. Kurt is surprised by the choice because Blaine is usually so "Top 40" (though Hey Monday produces some of the most poppy cloying shit ever, so who knows what Kurt is talking about) and asks why he picked it. This leads Blaine to confess his finally-realized feelings for Kurt, saying he's been waiting for him forever (calm down, Blaine. You're only 16). Then (and I'm NOT embarrassed to say that I totally lost it here) the two boys kiss.
The kiss between Blaine and Kurt is one of those moments where Glee is legitimately groundbreaking-while other network primetime programs have had gay characters, I can't think of an example of a show that has displayed a kiss this intimate between two men, let alone two teenage boys. Usually, it seems, that any broadcasted physical intimacy between two people of the same sex is either chaste, heavily edited or merely hinted at. This kiss, on the other hand, shows it all- it's prolonged, romantic and even somewhat hot. Can you imagine how awesome this must have been to gay teenagers who have never once been able to identify or imagine themselves within a romantic plotline in mainstream pop culture?
Meanwhile, over at McKinley, New Directions' plan to belt out a song by My Chemical Romance for Regionals is disrupted when they receive a cease and desist letter from the band. Clearly, the whole thing is orchestrated by Sue Sylvester who once had an affair with the band's drummer after meeting him at a drum circle in Daytona Beach (this story ends up being a lie- it was really the drummer from Jimmy Eat World- but it's too good not to repeat).
Scrambling for something else to do at Regionals, Rachel once again suggests that they do original music. The group is persuaded to try their hand at songwriting only after Quinn backs the idea. She does this, of course, not to actually help Rachel, but to keep an eye on her. Now that she is back with Finn, Quinn is convinced that Rachel (and any attachment that Finn might still feel for her) is the only thing that is keeping her from returning to the top of the social pyramid.
Rachel catches on to Quinn's plan and confronts her about it. Quinn is honest, albeit viciously cruel, and tells her that the only way the situation will end is with Finn and Quinn together and Rachel alone with her broken heart. Personally, I've never been able to drum up the hate that most feel for Rachel and it's always upset me how, while Kurt's bullying is treated with such gravitas, the harassment of Rachel is treated like something to be laughed at (at the very least, we're supposed to feel like she deserves it). This scene wasn't supposed to be funny, but it was uncomfortably shocking how mean and unlikable Quinn was. On the plus side, Quinn's asshole-ishness helps inspire the Rachel Berry-penned ballad "Get It Right," which she goes on to perform at Regionals. As an audience member, I was unmoved, but more important to the story, Finn was. Looks like Quinn's plan of leaving Rachel with a broken heart as she walks away with Finn isn't going to go as smoothly as she thought. (Also, this love triangle is boring and should probably make go away.)
For its group number at Regionals, New Directions performs another original song called "Loser Like Me." The performance is obnoxiously wink-winky as they flash their finger Ls and toss fake slushies at the audience. I wish they had gone with the song Santana wrote to get back at Brittany for rejecting her last week (your time will come, teen lesbians), which, though meant as a love song, was all about Sam's fish mouth. Or they could have gone with Mercedes song about washing her grandma's hair (they could have gone with Mercedes singing anything and it would have automatically been better), but, alas, they did not.
It comes as no surprise that New Directions ends up winning Regionals (though the Journey medley they lost with last year was dramatically better than the shoddy originals from this year). Regardless, congratulations, New Directions! But, also, boo because this means Kurt lost and we hate to see our Kurt unhappy. As they bury Pavarotti, Blaine points out that they've won in other ways because they found each other (there is a time and a place for that sort of sentimental nonsense, Blaine, neither of which are at a dead bird's funeral). Really, Kurt's disappointment might be all for naught. Would it be that surprising if Kurt returned to McKinley (and the glee club) with his new boyfriend in tow?